Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Percy and Larry--or How to Market a Book

The Tale of the Percy, the Purple Hippo and the Larry, the Lime Gecko

Sometimes, I just have to go outside the box to get my brain working more creatively.  So indulge me while I tell a little story I just made up about the purple hippo and the lime gecko and marketing.  Enjoy!

 It was Percy, the purple hippo's third birthday.  He invited all his friends to the party, but no one came.

Except for the Larry, the Lime Gecko.

Larry wasn't very nice to Percy.  He made fun of his color, his size, and even his nose.  Larry kept a frown on his face all the time.
Larry slithered into the backyard, where all the party balloons and the clown waited for the guests.  "This is a rotten party," Larry said.

Percy sighed.  "No one else came, so it's just you and me."

"What's good here?  Should I just go home?"

"No."  Percy knew he had to sell the party, to make Larry stay.  If not, Larry would slither away and talk badly about Percy's lacking party.  "This is a great party.  I'm just waiting for the rest of my friends to come by.  We have a clown, cake, and even pin-the-tale on the lion."  Percy pointed to each of the items.  "If you win any of the games we have, you'll get a special prize.  It's the best prize in the whole world, but it's a secret."

"Best prize, eh?"  Larry's frown deepened.  "I don't think you have anything.  This party's lame."

Percy was on thin ice.  "Not at all.  I can guarantee everyone will want to be here."  He ushered Larry to the clown.  "Show Larry what you can do."

The clown chuckled, and made Larry a few balloon animals, painted his face, and even made him laugh.

"Pretty good," Larry said.  "So that's your hook to bring people in.  Put the clown out front.  He'll make the kids come here."  He leaned closer.  "You have to market this party or all the kids will think it's lame."

"I see."  Percy thought for a moment.  "Next, we have a few games.  I like the pin the tail on the lion."  He pointed to the real lion in the corner.  "That's my uncle.  He loves this game."

"Do not," the lion barked.  "But I have to do it.  It's my job."  The poor thing rolled its eyes.  "Just know if you hit it, I'm going to be good and angry.  I might even roar."

"Cool."  Larry pulled on a blindfold, was spun three times, and aimed for the lion.  He kept trying and trying, finally sticking it into the lion's mane.  The lion let out a huge roar but didn't hurt Larry.  Larry ripped off the blindfold.  "There's your scary part.  Have the clown tell the others there's danger and risk."

Percy shrugged but went to tell the clown.  When he returned, Larry was eating the cake.

"Great cake.  It's your happy ending.  Tell the clown to describe this party like a book that people have to read.  You'll have more guests."

Percy talked to the clown once more.  The clown described the party to all the kids on the block, who just had to see it for themselves.  Lots of kids came to the party, eventually filling the backyard.  The party was a success.

"Selling this party was fun," Percy said to Larry.  "But how did you really do it?"

"Word of mouth is the best marketing.  Having the clown tell everyone made a few people come.  The more that came, the more the word got out.  I need a nap.  Great party."  And with that, Larry left the party.

Have a great week!
SweetTale Books

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